Toronto was the fastest growing city in Canada and the U.S. last year, thanks to immigration.

A recent analysis out of Ryerson University concluded that Toronto saw the most growth in terms of the city and the metropolitan area, which include municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Metropolitan Toronto grew by approximately 130,000 people in the 12 months leading up to July 1, 2019. Most of these gains were led by immigration.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington came in second place as it grew by nearly 120,000 residents.

Though coronavirus has seen Canada’s immigration numbers fall in recent months, Toronto is still expected to see growth driven by immigration once Canada’s newcomer levels recover.

Why do so many immigrants choose Toronto?

Immigrants are attracted to a particular community based on a number of factors including jobs, community, settlement supports, and infrastructures such as transportation, access to housing, and education.

Jobs, community, and family ties are the most important drivers, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Jobs

Toronto has a lively technology sector that is still growing in industries that have adjusted to the changing demands spurred by coronavirus.

There are multiple pathways to Canadian permanent residence for skilled foreign workers in tech who want to immigrate to Canada. The most notable way is by submitting a profile under the Express Entry system.

Toronto is the capital city of Ontario, so foreigners who work in tech may be eligible for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Tech Draws if they have an Express Entry profile.

Canada also offers the Global Talent Stream, which has a two-week processing standard for eligible employers hiring foreign tech workers.

Last year Toronto was named the top city in terms of “brain gain” in the 2019 Scoring Tech Talent report. This means there were more jobs created in tech than there were university graduates from tech programs.

Even for non-tech workers, Toronto has a highly diversified service-oriented economy. There are opportunities in many sectors such as finance, health, and real estate.

Community

With over 100,000 immigrants coming to Toronto every year, the city has a reputation for being one of the world’s most multicultural centers.

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, with nearly half of its residents being foreign-born. The GTA alone took in 118,000 immigrants last year, a third of the total number of immigrants to Canada. There were more immigrants that went to Toronto in 2019 than the four Atlantic provinces, the three territories, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba combined.

Settlement supports

Toronto has about 200 settlement support locations available to immigrants. These organizations include support for housing, language training, and health among others. Tailored supports are available for women, as well as specific nationalities and religions.

Infrastructure; housing, transportation, education

Considering all other factors, the high cost of living in Toronto is not a deterrent for new immigrants.

There are multiple modes of public transportation such as buses, subways, streetcars, and regional trains. It is also home to the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ).

There are six universities and four colleges in Toronto.

The University of Toronto consistently ranks as one of the top universities in the world. U of T recently improved to the number 25 spot in the QS World University Rankings for 2021.

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Source: CIC NEWS

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